Being spiritually numb can be dangerous
Published 2:27 pm Thursday, April 22, 2021
BY PASTOR KAGAN YOUNG
I hope and pray you all are having a wonderful week so far! I would like to share with you today a message I shared with my church this past Sunday entitled “Spiritually Numb.” The word numb is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “unable to feel anything in a particular part of your body due to lack of movement, or unable to think, feel, or react normally because of something that shocks or upsets you.” It’s no surprise that this word may be something you have personally dealt with in your life whether it was in a physical or spiritual way. To become numb is something our bodies cannot help if there is lack of circulation or movement. Just for a moment, I would like to share a story with you from the Bible that has an important message for us to see regarding this word numb.
Acts 20:1-6 gives us a story about the Apostle Paul and his third and almost final, missionary journey. Paul traveled by sea from Philippi and was on his way back to Jerusalem with a gift for the church there. He spent a week in a place called Troas preaching and teaching many that gathered together from the church. Paul decided to spend as much time with the people of Troas as he could since he felt his mission drawing to an end. Believe it or not, Paul preached for a total of six straight hours.
Acts 20:7 states “Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” After reading this verse, I am afraid many churches today would not let a man like Paul to preach in their church. Unfortunately, many churches have become paralyzed or “spiritually numb.” A long message like that would not be allowed in today’s church world. What we don’t see is this could very well be Paul’s last time with his people and he was cherishing every minute. The Bible tells us they had gathered together in a third story chamber with many lights. These lights were most likely lanterns since oil lamps were most commonly used in this era. As Paul preached, a man named Eutychus, whose name means “fortunate,” listened to Paul’s message.
Not many things in the Bible mention Eutychus, but his story is a powerful one. I’m sure many gathered that night were tired and sleep set in on them. This man decided to sit in the window while Paul preached. Don’t forget that this room they were in was three stories high.
Acts 20:9 states “And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.” Eutychus fell out of the window sound asleep and died from the impact on the ground. At this very moment, many may think a just consequence of his sleep was death. But, physically, this man was tired.
Let me point your attention to this man’s decision to sit in a window. As God began to speak through this message to me, notice how the window is a place of comfort. It’s possible that he was trying to get some cool night air to wake him since the upper room was filled with many people and the temperature probably was quite warm. If you sit idle in a warm atmosphere, your body is wired to become comfortable and sleepiness will almost always result. The window also shows Eutychus was halfway in and halfway out. As a result of setting in this widow, we see the dangers of sitting on a ledge.
The Bible clearly states the man died as a result of falling out of the window and Paul who is full of faith went down to where he lay. Acts 20:10 states “And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.”
Paul wrapped the man up and assured the church this man’s life was still in him. Paul returned to the room after performing the miracle and Acts 20:12 states “And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.” A tragic story has a powerful ending! This truly is the power of God that worked through the Apostle Paul.
Eutychus represents the individuals who make up the church. Take a close look around in our churches and see just how many are asleep spiritually. We as humans will become physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained sometimes in our walk with Christ, but it is not his will for us to live that way continually.
Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” God wants us to rest in him! We absolutely need to take time to rest and refresh ourselves because if our lives are physically drained, our spiritual lives will be also. I shared with the church this question; was the deep sleep Eutychus was in the cause of death? Or, was it the impact of falling from out of the window? Sleepiness was definitely a factor of this man’s deaths but the impact of falling claimed his life. Even though this man was dead to the human eye, Paul shows us that life is still within us! Even though our churches may seem almost dead and dried up, I believe life is still within the church as a whole. I say this because Jesus is alive and if he lives inside us, the church is alive! We have just allowed ourselves to fall asleep.
Remember this, Eutychus was sitting in a dangerous position halfway in and halfway out.
Revelation 3:15-16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
God’s word is clear. We need to pick a side. If this man had fallen asleep inside the room, his fall would not have been so tragic. Finding yourself out of the center of God’s will is the most dangerous place to be. We cannot serve God and this world. We will either love one or hate the other. Today, let us come out of the sleep we are in and pick up our cross and follow Jesus!
If your relationship with Jesus is at a place of lukewarm, I pray you will allow God to set you on fire for him. I hope today’s message will shake your heart so you are no longer “Spiritually Numb.”
(Kagan Young is pastor of Crab Orchard Free Will Baptisti Church in Spruce Pine, N.C.)